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OPINION | WALLY HALL: Poor Bama relegated to SEC Network

by Wally Hall | September 24, 2021 at 2:29 a.m.

A few good games are on tap for the SEC this week, but there are also several that could be blowouts.

The SEC has six teams still undefeated, four in the West, but that will definitely change this week with 3-0 Arkansas playing 3-0 Texas A&M in Arlington, Texas.

This week's schedule, overall, is why there is talk of the SEC going to 10 conference games when Texas and Oklahoma join the league.

ESPN doesn't like weeks like this, and Alabama isn't used to playing on the SEC Network. The Tide are usually prime time.

Maybe there is some sort of quota each team has to fill on its network. This week Georgia, Auburn and Bama are on the SEC Network.

Had a good week picking last week with only Mississippi State's loss to Memphis keeping it from being a perfect week. Went 12-1 to bring the season record up to 33-8.

Here are this week's picks:

Texas A&M vs. Arkansas

(Arlington, Texas)

It feels like this one could come down to a turnover and special-teams play. Both teams are going to try to control the tempo and the clock. Jimbo Fisher has said all the right things this week, giving the Razorbacks no bulletin board material, but one has to wonder if the players won't be a little cocky riding a nine-game win streak over the Hogs. This should be low scoring, which gives Arkansas a slight edge because it can get in the end zone on big plays. Changing my preseason pick. Cam "Bigfoot" Little makes the difference. Arkansas 17-14

Arkansas State at Tulsa

The Golden Hurricane have played well but are winless. Red Wolves Coach Butch Jones has named James Blackman the starter at quarterback. Backup Layne Hatcher led them to their only win, so Jones has a safety net if he chooses. ASU is coming off a big loss to Washington. Tulsa 27-21

Southern Miss at Alabama

The Golden Eagles have been balanced, scoring 53 total points and giving up 52. Expect that to change Saturday as the Crimson Tide shake off the close call at Florida. Alabama 56-7

Georgia State at Auburn

The Tigers are coming off a heart-breaking, hard-fought loss to a slightly above average Penn State team, and it might be hard to take the Panthers seriously in the early going. Bo Nix won't be under as much pressure and in the second half he throws for four touchdown passes. Auburn 42-10

Tennessee at Florida

This could be a trap game for the Gators who suffered a 31-29 home loss to Alabama. It will be up to them to get their chin straps on tight and forget the Tide. The Vols have scored 148 points, mostly against lower-tiered competition, and they lost to Pittsburgh. Gators get going in the second half. Florida 49-21

Georgia at Vanderbilt

The beast meets the least of the SEC East. The Bulldogs are allowing just 7.7 points per game, and the Commodores are averaging about 13 points per game, but expect that to drop Saturday when they get shut out by a great defense. The Bulldogs' offense is better than expected. Georgia 49-0

Kentucky at South Carolina

The undefeated Wildcats are easing their way out of the basketball shadow. The Gamecocks are trying to figure out exactly what they are. Kentucky 24-21

LSU at Mississippi State

The Tigers are great at pressuring quarterbacks and will need to be at their best against the Bulldogs' Will Rogers, who set a SEC record last week completing 50 of 67 passes. In a minor upset, Mississippi State 35-24

Missouri at Boston College

This is a big test for both teams. The undefeated Eagles are trying to make a statement. The Tigers need to tighten up their defense. Missouri 35-28

Print Headline: Poor Bama relegated to SEC Network

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